Crean mum on Blackmon, expects announcement soon #iubb

Yogi Ferrell isn’t the only Hoosier who could make an announcement in the next week.

Indiana coach Tom Crean said Wednesday that James Blackmon Jr. will soon reveal whether he will return for his sophomore season at IU or if he will seek an opportunity to turn professional.

Crean, speaking to IU reporters for the first time since the NCAA Tournament, indicated a decision may have been made with regard to Blackmon’s future, but said it will be announced at a different date.

“We’re well down the road on where we stand on that,” Crean said. “It will be forthcoming pretty soon on that, but we’ve handled everything and they’ve been great in the sense of having it all laid out where it needs to be, but I don’t want to get into the specifics of the decision making right now on either one of (Blackmon and Ferrell) today. There will be a time for that. As far as giving some generalities, I don’t mind giving you that.”

The deadline for early entry to the NBA Draft is Sunday at 11:59 p.m., meaning Blackmon’s announcement should come within the next few days. Ferrell is scheduled to announce his plans for next season during a dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday night.

Blackmon has been working at IU’s Cook Hall practice facility since the end of the postseason, as have Ferrell and others, including transfers Stan Robinson and Max Hoetzel. But whether or not he’ll be in Bloomington beyond this spring remains unclear.

ESPN Draft expert Chad Ford considers Blackmon the No. 61 ranked prospect in this year’s class and, outside of his pure shooting ability, there are more questions about his game than there are truths. The Ft. Wayne native was the biggest defensive liability among IU’s regular starters and even his shooting became spotty during the Hoosiers’ stretch run.

At 6-foot-3, his position at the NBA level also becomes questionable unless he proves willing and able to do more than shoot.

“Outside of the elite prospects in the draft, if they’re drafting in the end of the first round, second round, and they’re gonna bring the player onto their roster, they’d probably rather have a guy who can help them a little bit and Blackmon, being 19 years old, is pretty far from that,” Jonathan Givony of Draft Express told The Herald-Times in March. “Out of (Troy Williams, Ferrell and Blackmon), I’d be most surprised if Blackmon declared.”

For his part, Crean said he told Williams, Ferrell and Blackmon to consider the research and not opinions from prognosticators and NBA pundits. Most mock drafts have Ferrell and Blackmon slotted as second round picks at best, if they’re drafted at all.

Williams announced two weeks ago that he will return for his junior season.

“If somebody leaves, you congratulate them, you help them every way you can and you better have Plan B and Plan C ready to go because everybody right now is looking at the same thing,” Crean said.

7 comments

  1. I don’t see Blackmon being ready for the NBA at this time. It would be a huge mistake if he leaves after one year. He hit the freshman “wall” pretty hard this year. No way is his game ready for the NBA. I doubt he’d get drafted!

  2. work on some ball handling cuz he’s nba point guard at 6’2-6’3 and defense then he should move but not until

  3. Jeremy… why are Stan and Max still allowed to use Cook to workout and Taylor Maura Liz and Larryn are not? Title 9 not in effect in Bloomington or does coach Crean still care for his players no matter what?

    T…the boys are a joke too?

    1. nathan jessep,
      It is up to the coach. Crean mentioned in the press conference that there have been other players who did not continue to receive access to Cook Hall. Once players are no longer part of the IU program, access is optional.

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